Fatal fire unsolved 25 years later

Patricia Rochon is holding out hope that the person who started a fire that killed four members of her family will be brought to justice.

Hega Rochon

Hega Rochon

After a quarter of a century, Patricia Rochon is holding out hope that the person who started a fire that killed four members of her family will be brought to justice.

At 5:15 a.m. on Feb. 5, 1990, fire broke out at the Brooks Bank Building on 3rd Avenue West. When fire crews arrived the building was fully engulfed in flames and it took crews hours to extinguish the fire. When the smoke cleared, the bodies of four people were recovered from the wreckage.

Those four were Patricia’s 45-year old mother Helga Rochon, her sisters Sherri, 26, and Pauline, 19, as well as Pauline’s seven-month old daughter Kimberly Dumais. All told, three generations of Rochon women were killed on that tragic night.

In the years since, Patricia said the one responsible has not been found despite one witness and a document believed to be sent from the arsonist.

“We did get a letter approximately five years ago and provided it to the RCMP, but they weren’t able to get anything from it. I would like to make a plea for the person that sent that letter or anyone who has information to come forward,” said Patricia, adding that closure is what the family is truly seeking.

“There are three of us still alive and I don’t want to pass this tragedy on to our children because most of them were not born when the fire struck.”

Patricia isn’t the only one this incident has stuck with.

“I still think about the moment,” Staff Sgt. Garry Kerry, the original lead investigator at the time of the fire, said in a statement in 2011.

“The scene was horrific. I can still see them huddled together in the living room area, the small child still in her mother’s arms. I can’t imagine the horror they went through.”

The father of seven-month-old Kimberly Dumais, Tim, Patricia and other surviving family members and friends want the individual responsible to be brought to justice before another anniversary comes and goes.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Provincial Unsolved Homicide Unit at 1-877-543-4822 or Crime Stoppers.